A jury will be able to hear Sean Kratz tell investigators how he and Cosmo DiNardo murdered three young men on a Solebury Township farm in July 2017.

Bucks County Judge Jeffrey L. Finley denied a defense request to suppress Kratz’s April 2018 statement, given as part of a plea deal he backed out of at the last minute. Kratz’s new attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr., wanted the video recording thrown out, he said, because his client didn’t fully understand the terms of the deal.

In rejecting the suppression request, the judge said he disagreed with that assertion.

With Finley’s ruling on Monday, the case is ready to head to trial, although a date has not been set.

(L-R) Photos of Jimi Patrick, Tom Meo, Dean Finocchiaro, and Mark Sturgis are placed in a kitchen cabinet window in the home of the Patricks, nearing the anniversary of the July 2017 murders of the four young men in Bucks County.
DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
(L-R) Photos of Jimi Patrick, Tom Meo, Dean Finocchiaro, and Mark Sturgis are placed in a kitchen cabinet window in the home of the Patricks, nearing the anniversary of the July 2017 murders of the four young men in Bucks County.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Kratz, 22, of Northeast Philadelphia, who is charged with helping kill and bury three of his cousin DiNardo’s four victims.

Nearly two years ago, authorities discovered the remains of Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township; Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, after an exhaustive, days-long search. Kratz is charged in the killings of Finocchiaro, Meo, and Sturgis.

DiNardo, 22, of Bensalem, pleaded guilty to all four murders and was sentenced to life in prison; the death penalty was taken off the table in exchange for his cooperation.

A law enforcement official escorts Cosmo DiNardo to a vehicle Thursday, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
A law enforcement official escorts Cosmo DiNardo to a vehicle Thursday, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa.

In DiNardo’s confession — which won’t be admissible at Kratz’s trial unless DiNardo is called to testify — DiNardo said he lured his victims by saying he had marijuana to sell. But once the young men got to his parents’ 90-acre property, he shot and killed them, ran one over with a backhoe, and tried to burn the bodies before burying them.

After Kratz balked at his plea deal, his now-former lawyer Craig Penglase admitted to leaking recordings of DiNardo’s and Kratz’s statements, parts of which aired on NBC10 and Fox29. On the tapes, according to the NBC10 report, Kratz tells investigators that he killed the three young men out of fear that DiNardo would hurt him or his family.